High Speed 2

I know there are strongly held views about HS2 and that there is particular concern about the ever-increasing cost implications to the project.

There is a real need for significant regeneration of our railway network as part of a national strategy for transport infrastructure. This should include electrification of lines, bringing services into public ownership, and re-opening local stations.

I want to see a transport system that delivers better value for money, reduces journey times, gives passengers a real voice in how services are run and helps to rebalance an economy which is becoming ever more divided between the regions.

I am concerned at the way the Government has mismanaged HS2 and that this has led to delays and a significant increase to the budget. Indeed, as Sir David Higgins, the Chair of HS2 Ltd, has made clear in his report (HS2 Plus), there are significant savings to be made if the Government get a grip of this project and speed up the timetable. There can be no blank cheque for this project and it is vital that the Government now put an end to delays, get control of the budget and respond fully to local issues raised by communities.

Published 03/01/16

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